MAPS Mentorship Program

New Directions for 2020-21

In light of changes in our ability to do 1:1 mentoring due to COVID-19, our typical in-person MAPS mentorship program is on hold for the 2020-21 school year. However, we are launching some new initiatives in this year that we hope you'll check out! 

The MAPS (Mentor And Peer Support) 2.0 program has been designed to continue engagement with Alder Elementary families and students, as well as offering new efforts to provide peer support for Portland State students. Check out our MAPS 2.0 initiatives to learn more!

What is MAPS?

Every year Portland State partners with Together We Are Greater Than and Alder Elementary to match college student mentors with elementary students for one-on-one mentoring. Alder Elementary School has a large population of students who face economic barriers in a diverse multilingual and multicultural area. We hope to strengthen these students’ awareness and understanding of what college is at an early age through one-on-one connections with PSU student mentors in our MAPS (Mentor: Alder & Portland State) mentoring program.

Becoming a MAPS mentor is a great way to help make an impact in the lives of these students! Mentors will participate in mentor training during Fall term on Tuesdays or Wednesday from the end of October through November, and then will be matched with their mentee in time for Winter term. Mentors meet with their mentees one day a week at Alder Elementary, between 9am and 1pm on Tuesday or Wednesday during Winter and Spring terms. Transportation is provided from the PSU campus.

I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to learn and grow with my student.

In addition to supporting mentees through one-on-one connection in the classroom, mentors build strong relationships with their mentees as noon-time "lunch buddies," engaging in fun conversations, games, and activities to get the mentees thinking about college, higher education, and future careers.

The application to become a MAPS Mentor for the 2020-21 year will be reviewed on a rolling basis through early Fall 2020. Early applications encouraged! Mentor training will begin the final week of October and extend through November on either Tuesday or Wednesday mornings (mentors will pick the day that works best for their schedule). Mentors will then be matched with their mentee by the end of Fall term and begin mentoring during the Winter/Spring 2021 terms. If you'd like more information, contact

Fall Term: 

  • Recruitment of new PSU student mentors through October
  • Students are interviewed for the program
  • Onboarding and training begins by late October/November

Winter Term: 

  • PSU student mentors are matched with their "mentee" at Alder Elementary
  • Students travel to Alder weekly (on Tuesdays or Wednesdays) to meet with their mentee in the classroom and then for "lunch buddies."

Spring Term: 

  • Students continue to travel to Alder weekly (on Tuesdays or Wednesdays) to meet with their mentee in the classroom and then for "lunch buddies."
  • In May, PSU student mentors are involved in helping with "Alder College Day @ PSU" when all Alder kindergarten classrooms come to the PSU campus to "experience college" for a day.

History of the MAPS Program

In the 2011-12 academic year, Portland State University adopted a grade level (Dreamer class) at Alder Elementary School through the I Have A Dream Foundation (IHADF) Oregon (now called Greater Than). PSU made a pledge to support IHADF's goal to help low-income students in a particular grade level achieve success in school, college, and career. Alder Elementary is a school in the Reynolds School District rich with diversity and resilience, in which 27 different languages are spoken by students and their families. Greater Than's mission is to support and empower students from poverty-impacted communities to thrive in school, college, and career.

Our Partners and Sponsors 

Alder Elementary School
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